Sat 14 Sep - Dent / Yorkshire Dales, England

A scenic drive through 2 national parks to a historic hamlet...

We were on the move again, heading a short distance eastwards directly to the Yorkshire Dales if we so choose, but instead we took the scenic long way around as a direct drive would have made us too early for check in.

So we went southwest St Bees on the Irish Sea, which is lovely and also the start of the Wainwright's Coast to Coast walk (very famous within hiking circles). We knew that the walk crosses both the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Park so we drove in the quest to find its start at St Bees. The suggested durarion of the walk is 12 days and again is one of those long distance hikes where you can have a bed and breakfast at each stop. Sounds good.

St Bees beach is very neat and clean, but a bit cool despite (or because of) the clear morning.

A few dog walkers out and about, and us, with our thermos and cups of coffee. Very relaxing watching the dogs run on the beach. There was even a horse rider out there on the sand taking advantage of the low tide.

And this family that we dubbed the "Gumboot family", as they all had Wellies for the wet sand. They looked like they all were having fun.

A quick loo break for us before heading off, no not here! But we did wonder about a "horse toilet" and whether the horse had to "pay and display" for parking too, provided they found a hitching post?

From St Bees we zigzagged through the Lake District as mountain ranges and lakes mean there is no straight road through. Correction - there is one west/east pass called HardKnott Pass, and it has a bit of a reputation of being a difficult and scary road. We saw a sign at the start about it being narrow and having inclines of 30 degrees (in a car??? Most mountain cog railways are not as steep!)

Needless to say with Di being a chicken passenger we took another route. Still windy, still steep and still scenic. Great views and we had to stop for some photos.

We ended up in Coniston as it was recommended by Hans' friend, Simon, for some good hard hikes. We found the start of one he recommended, called Old Man. It appeared very popular given the number of hikers we saw there and had a decent climb, more than 800 metres with one of the several routes up described as steep and hard. Not for today, another time...

The start of the Old Man hike just next to the parking lot...

Coniston and Hawkshead were pretty towns, but touristy. We opted not to spend time here due to Saturday crowds and likely tourist lunch prices, so we continued on. At Newby-Bridge we spotted this great looking inn, Swan Inn, and an old but slightly different looking bridge.

Very nice looking, but...

...when we checked the prices we gasped (£99 per person twin share for a special Sunday to Thursday one night deal) and so we just used their very nice facilities before moving on.

Hans was fascinated by the Air Fury drier... Check out the air waves on his hand. Great and appropriate name.

We headed eastwards out of the Lake District to Kirkby-Lonsdale which was a nice little town, and not touristy. It had a centre market square and a nice feel.

This cat certainly seemed relaxed and attracted another photographer apart from us as well.

Kirkby-Lonsdale had the added benefit of a Chippy - a local fish and chip shop with 4 tables inside, and one table available just for us.

We had both a very good meal deal of small fish, chips and mushy peas with tea, which we both enjoyed. Thumbs up for value and quality.

We knew we only had 20 miles to go to our destination and had planned to take a back route via Ingleton. This worked out well as on the way we spotted lots of walks and plenty of cars parked, as evidence that the walks were also popular. We will return.

The B road we took to Dent was narrow...very narrow in places. We were warned that there was a bridge that was very narrow. No kidding. Ours is not a big car.

During our drive on this stretch we saw 2 separate occasions where farmers were repairing stone walls. We figure repair work must have been going on for centuries and is a never ending job.

We arrived around 3pm and instantly liked Dent. We were staying at the main pub in town called the George and Dragon and our room is 1st floor upstairs on the left. Plenty of space and parking provided across the pub an into a laneway. The lanes are cobbled and narrow, and to turn in to the lane we had to do a 3 point turn in our car. All good.

The George and Dragon pub has won lots of awards for their craft beers ans ciders on tap and was promoting that fact everywhere.

The weather still looked good so we set off to explore the didn't take long. Dent is a cute hamlet that barely rates on Google Maps (unless you go to a very very close up scale).

Apparently Dent is unique in that most Yorkshire villages do not have cobbled streets and white washed cottages. The one famous person born here seems to be Adam Sedgewick, father of a school of Geology and son of a reverend. We had never heard of him but Dent as well as George and Dragon pub promote this "famous" memorial fountain in his honours. It is located just opposite the pub. Hmmm...

And yes, we saw horse riders everywhere today. Maybe it is a Saturday / weekend favorite pastime around here.

We wandered the "main street" and liked that the local notice board are barn doors.

The biggest thing in Dent is the local church. Apparently the parish here can trace records back to circa 1290, and for a while there the reverends were all Sedgewicks, one of them being famous Adam's father.

The right hand wall has lots of memorial plaques, most to Sedgewicks... The enclosed area in the floor are for kids and contained quite a few toys. We speculated that it may be a bit noisy during church service if there were a lot of kids there.

The church yard has a lovely bench overlooking Dentdale and farm yards. Di sat and contemplated for a while.

We wandered to the other end of town...and liked the garage here, but your vehicle can not be too long snd not too tall. Right, so you can park your car in here but how do you get out? Crawl?

Another unique feature - up a dry creek...first dry creek we've seen in the UK.

Lovely countryside and Di's favourite creature, excluding Hans...

Every street in Dent is pretty - Hans blended in well (ha ha)

We finished off in the lounge of our pub trying some of their craft cider and home brewed Dent beers. Very nice.

At 6.30pm or so, we moved into the restaurant section, which is just behind where Hans is taking this photo, for dinner. Feeling not particularly hungry, we shared an entree and a main and that was just fine.

A funny experience with the two "waiters" that serviced the restaurant. Two young kids, not older than 20, he looked like a shy nerd and tried to do and say the right things but seemed very relieved when he was let go, she was one of those girls who didn't want to be there and probably thought that she was too good for this kind of work (for example, she kicked open the door to the kitchen instead of using the hand).

We called it a day after dinner and walked up to our room on the first floor above the pub section. Of course, this being Saturday night, there was a bit of drunken noise but overall a pretty upbeat feeling to the place.

Wifi was very intermittent and worked in "blocks". When we enquiried, we were told the usual story about isolation and the Manager knows about it etc... Never mind, persistance on our part paid off and we managed to finish the blog for today. Good night.

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